27 February 2020
The world's third specialist observatory designed to detect gravitational waves is being constructed in India. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, is also known as LIGO-India. LIGO instruments exploit the physical properties of light and of space itself to discover and understand the origins of gravitational waves.
There are already two LIGO observatories in Livingston and Hanford in the USA. These instruments were the first to observe gravitational waves, associated with the distant collision of black holes, and the subject of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Once the third detector is completed in India in 2024, researchers will be able to use all three LIGO instruments in a network to improve the information extracted from the wave and source location.
Researchers from the gravitational wave group at the University of Strathclyde, which fabricates some of the highest performance laser mirror coatings in the world, have been a training the LIGO-India scientists in a variety of thin film manufacturing and mechanical characterisation.
Professor Stuart Reid from Strathclyde’s Biomedical Engineering, said:
“We look forward to seeing the international gravitational wave detector network expand over the coming years when LIGO-India comes online.
“This exciting endeavour aids in the global impact of Indian research and their contributions towards future observatory upgrades.”
The project is funded by STFC and the British Council’s Newton Bhabha Fund, and coordinated by the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow.
Last updated: 27 February 2020